Book Reviews




by Chip & Dan Heath   Random House Business Books 2010

How many of us really like change? I guess it depends on the change itself and why it is happening. The more the change disrupts our life, if it is a change we didn’t anticipate or want in the first place, the harder it is to deal with. Chip and Dan Heath have written a book that explains the dynamics of change in a way that is easy to understand and relate to. 

Basically, in order to make a lasting change, the “heart” — the emotional part of us, and the “mind” — the rational side of us, must work together. Otherwise the conflict will eventually exhaust our “will power” and the change will unravel.

There are three core misconceptions:

  • What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem
  • What looks like laziness is often exhaustion
  • What looks like resistance is often lack of clarity

Understanding how these misconceptions influence how we adapt to change makes all the difference.

As I am a “choice” person, it surprised me to find out that having too many options actually causes “decision paralysis” and can stop us from making  necessary changes. Therefore, we need to develop clear, specific behaviors  to address the changes.

Some strategies for creating change are:

  • Destination postcards — show where you are headed and why the journey is worthwhile
  • Using crisis as a motivator — forces you to take action
  • Shrinking the change — limiting the energy investment and emphasizing small wins

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  The examples are interesting and can be applied to both personal and business situations. I encourage anyone who is interested in coping with change to read this.  I think you’ll be glad you did.


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